Wild at Heart

September 7, 1999 (Blue)

Written by: Marti Noxon

Teaser

EXT. CAMPUS - NIGHT

FADE UP ON:

A pastoral campus tableau. Students sitting on benches talking, looking at a kiosk, milling about.

Then, in the background, completely unnoticed by the students, we see BUFFY run scared through the frame - as if her life depended on it. A few beats later we see that she is being pursued by a hungry-looking VAMPIRE, who also runs through frame...

ANOTHER ANGLE

Where we see that Buffy and the vamp are rapidly leaving behind the heavily traveled path and heading into a more secluded part of the campus.

BUFFY

Checks behind her. Sees that they are alone. And stops. Pulls out a stake - cool as a cucumber.

BUFFY
(to vamp)
Thanks for the re-locate. I perform
better without an audience.

The shocked vamp barely has time to react before Buffy lunges at him, ready to make with the dust portion of the program. The vamp fends off her blow and they go at it. He's big and strong - but Buffy's in fine form, enjoying the fight...

BUFFY (cont'd)
You were thinking what, a little
helpless co-ed before bed?
(throws him)
You know very well: you eat this late--
(he comes at her)
You're gonna get
(stakes him)
heartburn.

He clutches his chest in uncomprehending agony.

BUFFY (cont'd)
Get it? Heart burn?

He dusts.

BUFFY (cont'd)
That's it? That's all I get?

She starts to exit, blithely complaining.

BUFFY (cont'd)
One lame-ass vamp with no appreciation
for my painstakingly thought out puns?
I don't even think the forces of darkness
are trying.
(to the world)
You could make a little effort you know...
Give me something to work with, here.

As she moves off, back toward the path we-

WIDEN

Until we see SPIKE, who stands unnoticed on a high stair landing some distance away. His full fury at having lost the Gem of Amarra to Angel informs his every word-

SPIKE
Watch your mouth, little girl. You should
know better than to tempt the fates that
way. Because the Big Bad is back - and
this time, it's GNYAARGGHHLL!!

We see that Spike's screams of pain are prompted by the TASER BLOW he's just suffered. He falls to the ground, paralyzed.

CLOSE ON SPIKE

Stunned and horrified.

SPIKE'S POV

As the MYSTERIOUS COMMANDOS we've been seeing from time to time move in.

CLOSE ON SPIKE'S whining face as he is dragged out of frame.

BLACK OUT.

END OF TEASER
Act One

INT. BRONZE - NIGHT

BUFFY, WILLOW, OZ, and XANDER are hanging, listening to the music. Oz and Willow are in a cuddly space, as per usual.

WILLOW
It's more fun here this year, isn't it?
The Bronze?

BUFFY
(agreeing)
'Cause of the gloating factor alone.
We're all about college now.
We've got heady discourse...

OZ
Curfew free nights of mom and
pop-less hootenanny...

XANDER
Co-ed dating prospects who find
"townies" sexy and dangerous...
(off Willow's look)
What? I can dream.

BUFFY
Right... So, if college is so great - what
are we doing here and why is it more fun?

WILLOW
Because the Bronze is nice and familiar.
It's like a big comfy blanky.

OZ
I was under the impression that I was
your big comfy blanket.

WILLOW
You're my person blanky. This is my
place blanky. With all the shock of the
new it's nice to know that there's one
spot we can come back to where things
are predictable and-

GILES
(interrupting her)
Hello, all.

Buffy starts to rise, on alert.

BUFFY
Giles. Trouble?

GILES
Oh no - don't get up Buffy. It's nothing
like that. I just thought I'd pop by...
Anybody for a latte? On me?

BUFFY
(to Willow)
So much for your predictable blanky
theory, Will.

Everyone makes room for Giles. He sits.

GILES
Splendid. It's been ages since I've
been out to hear a band...

The youngsters can't help but share a look. He catches it.

GILES (cont'd)
Don't look that way. I'm quite "with it"
when it comes to music - and I have
the record albums to prove it.

BUFFY
(bemused)
But it's your cutting edge 8-tracks that
keep you ahead of the scene.

OZ
(to others)
Might want to save the scoffing, gang.
I've seen the collection, and Giles was
an animal in his day.

BUFFY
I guess... If the Stones are still rolling, why can't Giles?

WILLOW
(to Giles)
Exactly, I think it's brave that you're here.

GILES
(a bit peeved)
Well - thank you, all. You've made
me feel right at home.

XANDER
Isn't home that empty place you're
trying to escape?

Giles would reply but he's interrupted as the LIGHTS COME UP ON THE STAGE AREA AND A BAND starts playing a driving, sexual tune. Then VERUCA takes the stage. Whatever she's wearing, it's black and sexy... Willow notes Veruca's entrance, eyes OZ nervously. Buffy, also, is keenly aware of Will's discomfort.

WILLOW
Oh. Yea... Veruca's playing tonight.

OZ
Yeah. Every Wednesday. I told you.

Oz gives Willow a quick smile - tries not to notice that Veruca is, once again, directing much of her act to him. But the pull between them is too strong... His glance toward her becomes a stare. Buffy, protective of Willow, tries to talk over the loud music-

BUFFY
So Oz, what about you guy?
When's Dingoes playing here again?

Distracted, Oz manages-

OZ
What? Oh - we're up next Friday...

And his eyes return to the stage. Willow, trying to hold it together, grabs Oz' hand. Squeezes it.

WILLOW
(anxious/re: band)
They're good, aren't they?

Oz guiltily forces his attention back to her. Downplays-

OZ
Nothing special.

BUFFY
Yeah. She's quell' Fiona. Color
me bored.

But Giles, nodding along to the music, offers-

GILES
Really? I think she's rather remarkable.
Such a presence for someone her age...

Which is about the wrongest thing he could say at the moment. Even more uncomfortable now - the others turn their attention back to the performance. But Buffy steals sympathetic glances at Willow, as Oz and Veruca dial in on each other again...

CLOSE ON WILLOW

Hurt. Trying to pretend she's not noticing.

FADE TO:

INT. OZ' ROOM - DAY

The next AM. Oz and Willow sleep, snuggled together. Willow, looking pretty darn cute in a big t-shirt, starts to whimper, agitate... Finally calls out-

WILLOW
It's in the sandblaster!

Oz, woken by this, smiles before his eyes even open.

OZ
What's the sandblaster, Will?

But Willow doesn't answer, just whimpers... Oz pulls her closer to him. Gently nuzzles her ear, saying-

OZ (cont'd)
It's a dream... Come back to me.

His hands move under covers. Whatever he's doing is waking her in a most pleasant fashion.

WILLOW
Hmmmmmm....
(grins)
Ooooooh....
(then)
All Geminis to the raspberry hats!

OZ
Now you're faking.

WILLOW
Am not.

But she turns around so she's facing him. Opens her eyes.

WILLOW (cont'd)
Just a little.

OZ
Morning.

WILLOW
Morning.

OZ
Bad dream?

WILLOW
I guess. But the waking up part
makes up for it.

They smile. He moves some hair from her forehead. Taps her head tenderly.

OZ
It's always so busy in there.

WILLOW
(suggestively)
Not always. A few things shut my
brain up completely.

OZ
Anything I can help you with?

WILLOW
I have to get to class right now.
But tonight, for sure.

OZ
I don't know about tonight. Unless the
extreme Jerry Garcia look turns you on.
(off her puzzled look)
Night before the full moon.

WILLOW
Oh! That's right. And I have a thing...
There's a wicca group on campus I
wanted to check out, they have
orientation on the three nights you're
wolfy. It's probably totally silly, but-

OZ
(cutting her off)
Go. Show them how it's done.

WILLOW
Are you sure? You can lock yourself up?
I mean, it's only this one month. After
orientation they meet on different nights-

OZ
Will, I'll be fine.

WILLOW
Okay... As long as you don't mind.

OZ
The only part I mind is being away
from your for three nights.

And he kisses her sweetly. The weirdness of the night before forgotten. They're totally comfy again. Totally adoring.

INT. LECTURE HALL/HALL - DAY

Buffy's heading out for Psych 101 after class. MAGGIE stands near her desk, handing back papers. Buffy, not thrilled at the prospect of a face to face with her, quickly takes her paper and makes for the door. But Maggie stops her with-

PROF WALSH
Ms. Summers. I want you to prepare
to lead a discussion group next class
on the paper topic.
(re: Buffy's paper)
That was smart work.

BUFFY
It - I... What do I-

PROF WALSH
You have any questions, bring them
up with one of the TA's.

Maggie turns her attention back to her business with the other students, dismissing her. Now Willow meets up with Buffy - sees Buffy's stunned look as they exit into the hall.

WILLOW
Are you okay? How'd you do?

Buffy just hands Willow her paper. Willow reads - then looks back at Buffy, thrilled for her.

WILLOW (cont'd)
That's good... I mean, that's excellent!
(her face falls)
You did better than me... This is so unfair.
(thrilled again)
You made me jealous of you -
academically! Buffy!

BUFFY
I know - can you believe it!?

They hug.

WILLOW
Guess Ms. Walsh isn't so ogrey after all.

BUFFY
Except now she wants me to lead a
discussion group next class. Which
means more work, right? Shouldn't
she have a better reward system?
Like a cookie? Or maybe a little toy,
like at the dentist?

WILLOW
(blown away)
She wants you to lead a discussion group?
Okay - jealous again. Jealous, jealous...
I'm back.
(then)
I'm meeting Oz at the café. You want to
come? I'll get you your celebratory cookie.

BUFFY
Great. I'm TA bound - but I'll catch
up with you guys.

With that they each move happily off.

EXT. OUTDOOR CAFÉ - DAY

The place is hopping. Oz, coffee in hand, looks for a place to sit. There isn't a free table anywhere. Then he stops, sensing-

VERUCA

Who sits with her lunch at the table near him. Again, she's got the baby rock star look working. And she's staring at him like she's been expecting him. Oz hesitates.

VERUCA
What are you going to do? Sit on
the ground?

OZ
My girlfriend's coming.

VERUCA
There's room.

Oz relents - sits at her table. Notices her rather huge hamburger and large basket of fries.

OZ
Big lunch.

VERUCA
(shrugs)
I like to eat. I hate chicks who are all -
"does that have dressing on it?"

OZ
Agreed.

They meet eyes now, and the vibe between them is undeniable. The moment goes on a beat past friend/casual... Then Oz breaks it, says-

OZ (cont'd)
You guys were tight last night.

VERUCA
I guess. The set's starting to come together -
but the amps still sound dirty to me...

OZ
What are you using? 50 or 120?

ANGLE ON ANOTHER AREA OF THE CAFÉ

Where Willow arrives, sees them talking intently. Her face falls. She almost walks off. But she stops and collects herself. Approaches them with forced good cheer.

WILLOW
Hey!

Oz makes room for Willow. Gives her a kiss. Veruca nods to her, not unkindly.

VERUCA
Hey...

There is an awkward moment of silence. Then Oz channels his discomfort back into the technical conversation with Veruca.

OZ
You should be using 50. And Blue
Voodoo isn't your best bet if you don't
dig the distort.

WILLOW
Music talk, huh? Cool. I love to listen
to Oz talk about "the biz."

VERUCA
(ignoring/to Oz)
What do you like, again? I know
you told me.

OZ
There are a couple of good ones.
The Johnson Mil...

VERUCA
My #1 has to be Redbone.

OZ
#1? I gotta go with Hound Dog...

Willow, desperate to weigh in, offers-

WILLOW
Me too! That was a great song. I mean,
Elvis - what a guy.

VERUCA
(bemused)
You a big Elvis fan?

WILLOW
The biggest. Well, I mean, after Dingoes.

OZ
We were actually talking amps...
(off Will's embarrassment)
But it's easy to get confused, with the
names they give them.

WILLOW
Oh.

There is another awkward beat. Willow can't help but sense the energy that suffuses Oz and Veruca's silences - and she feels like she's dying a thousand deaths... Finally, Oz decides he can't hang. Squeezes Willow's arm.

OZ
(to both of them)
I have to bail.
(to Willow)
Call me later.

Oz goes, leaving a wildly uncomfortable Willow and Veruca together. A beat. Willow's about to talk when-

VERUCA
I should go too. Good shirt.

Veruca bails and Willow looks down at her pink and fuzzy Custo-type top. Feels even more foolish. Then-

BUFFY (O.C.)
Check the rapid exits. Was it me?

Willow, crestfallen, looks up to see Buffy standing near her with her coffee. Buffy takes a seat.

WILLOW
Me. I don't speak "muscianese."
(then)
Why didn't you tell me I look like a
crazy birthday cake in this shirt?

BUFFY
Oh. I thought that was the point.

Now Buffy can see that Willow is really upset - near tears.

WILLOW
He thinks she's sexy. He gets this blushy
thing going on behind his ears. That's
for me only.

BUFFY
(sympathetic)
It doesn't mean anything, Will. So Oz
checks another girl. He loves you.

Willow nods. Trying to convince herself.

WILLOW
I know. I know. And I don't want to be
the kind of girl who freaks every time
my boyfriend notices someone else -
even if she is throwing herself at him
like a twenty dollar ho...

BUFFY
Please. Ten dollar ho. Fifteen, max.

WILLOW
I mean, I have wrong feelings for other
guys sometimes...

BUFFY
You have them. But you don't act
on them.

WILLOW
No. In fact, I feel guilty about them. I flog and punish.

BUFFY
See? I'm sure Oz is flogging and
punishing himself-
(stops)
This is sounding so wrong before I
even finish.
(then)
Point is - you're both human. But I
promise you, in a few days it'll be
like - Veruca who?

WILLOW
You think?

BUFFY
Absolutely. Oz just isn't the type to stray.

WILLOW
(still worried)
Not tonight, anyway. He'll be locked
in a cage...

INT. CRYPT - DUSK

Oz enters an old crypt, which he and the others have converted into a CAGE by drilling a wall of bars into the stone. There is a door in the wall of bars that Oz now moves through. He closes the door and it locks automatically. (The row of buttons under the knob hold a combination Oz can reach around and do once he's unwolfed.)

Oz pulls of his shirt...

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. WOODS - NIGHT

As a FULL MOON rises into the night sky.

DISSOLVE TO:

INT. CRYPT - NIGHT

As OZ WOLF rises into frame, HOWLING. He HURLS himself against the door of his cage, again and again, until the HINGE BREAKS and it finally flies open - releasing him.

DISSOLVE TO:

INT. LECTURE HALL - NIGHT

Maggie is finishing up for the night - blissfully unaware of any danger that lurks outside her warmly lit classroom. She moves to the door, snaps the lights off.

EXT. CAMPUS - NIGHT

Now Maggie moves down the dimly lit walkway, enjoying the fresh air. Stops when she HEARS SOMETHING MOVE in the bushes nearby. A beat passes - then she keeps walking. But the noise persists. Shrubs and trees SHUDDER AS SOMETHING LARGE AND UNSEEN MOVES AMIDST THEM.

PROF WALSH
Hello?

No reply.

Really scared now, Maggie heads for the distant parking lot as fast as she can... But the faster she moves - the faster the thing moves. Maggie breaks into a run. It's no use. One of the bushes ahead leaps OZ WOLF. Snarling, hideous - and hungry.

Maggie SCREAMS and takes off in the opposite direction. She's actually pretty damn fast, but she's no match for OZ WOLF - who gains on her rapidly. Desperate, Maggie tosses her briefcase at the creature, to little effect. Then she tries a fake, taking a corner at the last minute-

EXT. ANOTHER PART OF CAMPUS - CONT. (NIGHT)

-where she nearly runs headlong into ANOTHER HIDEOUS WEREWOLF, sitting in wait just a few paces ahead. Maggie, petrified, looks behind her to see Oz Wolf coming around the corner. She's surrounded. For a horrible, blood curdling moment, she contemplates the two snarling beasts.

PROF WALSH
God...

The wolves eye each other, crouch into attack stance... AND LUNGE TOWARD MAGGIE. She screams and drives for the bushes...

And indeed wolves attack - EACH OTHER. It appears that their interest in Maggie is secondary to their desire to tear the crap out of one another. Maggie takes a moment to comprehend the miracle of her survival, then scrambles out of the bushes and races for safety. Behind her rise the WILD HOWLS of the wolves, which carries over into...

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. WOODS - DAWN

The woods... Day is breaking and the light is golden. The wolf cry fades as we move through beautiful fall foliage. The whole scene is fairly dewy and full of promise.

We finally come to rest on Oz, nude and sleeping beneath a mossy tree... in the arms of an also very nude VERUCA.

BLACK OUT.

END OF ACT ONE
Act Two

EXT. WOODS - DAWN

CLOSE ON OZ

It is only moments later. Oz opens his eyes. Takes in his wooded surroundings, disoriented. Then he notices the distinctly female arms wrapped around him. And the SCRATCHES ON HIS LEGS AND CHEST... Behind him - a distinctly non-Willowy female voice moans upon waking... Then VERUCA rises behind him. All smiles.

VERUCA
Morning.

A long beat. Oz is freaked beyond the telling of it - but he tries to maintain his exterior.

OZ
Morning.

VERUCA
That was some night.

OZ
So it appears.

Veruca sits up. Completely uninhibited about her nakedness. Oz maintains a position facing away from her.

VERUCA
Right... You don't remember. It's like
that at first. But after a while, bits and
pieces start coming back to you.

OZ
So you're...

VERUCA
A werewolf groupie. Nobody else
gets it done for me.

OZ
What?

Veruca grins and slides next to him again.

VERUCA
Kidding. You know what I am. You've
known since the first time you saw me.

Oz takes this in. Realizes it's true. Veruca starts to massage his neck, speak soothingly...

VERUCA (cont'd)
(put off)
So - what do you want to do?

INT. CAMPUS LAUNDRY ROOM - MORNING (DAY)

CLOSE ON AN OPEN CLOTHES DRYER

As a highly distressed Oz searches for something to wear.

WIDEN

To show that we are in a laundry room on campus. Oz is already wearing a pair of magenta sweat pants. Behind him Veruca, now in a bra in panties, tries on and discards tops.

VERUCA
God. The kids in this dorm need
Fashion 101 in a bad way...

Now she turns to see that Oz is now wearing a peach Izod shirt with a little alligator on it. She tries not to laugh.

VERUCA (cont'd)
Or we could start right here at home.

OZ
Not making a statement. Just trying to
get back to my place. I want to know
why we both got out of our cages and-

VERUCA
(scoffing)
You have a cage?

OZ
Don't you?

VERUCA
Yeah. It has a little wheel and a cute
plastic ball with a bell in it.
(then)
God. Somebody's domesticated the
hell out of you.

OZ
It's my choice. I don't want to hurt anybody.

VERUCA
Maybe. Or maybe you don't want to
admit what happened to you. Maybe
you want to pretend you're just a
regular guy...

OZ
I am. I'm only a wolf three nights a month.

Veruca moves closer to him. Still only in her undies...

VERUCA
Or you're the wolf all the time, and
your human face is just your disguise.
Ever think of that?

Oz feels the heat rising between them as she gets nearer. Starts to get even more uncomfortable.

OZ
I'm going. I have to check the paper.
See if we did any damage last night.

Veruca, closer still, fixes him with her incredible eyes.

VERUCA
We did - but only to each other. I know
some part of you remembers that.

Oz looks away, ashamed - and aroused despite himself.

VERUCA (cont'd)
And it doesn't take a full moon...
We could do it again right here.

OZ
(firmly)
But we aren't going to. It ends. Now.

She's in his face now.

VERUCA
I can help you, Oz. You're scared. I was
too. But now I accept it. The animal.
And it's powerful... Inside me all the time.
(then)
Soon you'll feel sorry for other people.
They only wish they could be as alive
as we are. As free-

OZ
Free to kill people? I won't do that.
And you shouldn't either.

Veruca just smiles at this.

VERUCA
You don't understand. But you will.
And you'll see that we belong together.

OZ
No. I know where I belong.

He starts for the door. Veruca calls out to him.

VERUCA
See you tonight.

Oz keeps moving, trying not to hear her.

INT. CAMPUS - HALLWAYS - DAY

Maggie and Riley are moving through a busy hall.

PROF WALSH
It was unbelievable. Two of them.
That I survived at all is a miracle-

Now we see that Buffy has come up behind them.

BUFFY
Excuse me, Ms. Walsh-

Maggie sees Buffy and incorporates her into the conversation without missing a beat.

PROF WALSH
I hope you're being careful when you
walk on campus after dark. I was
attacked by wild dogs last night.

Buffy takes this in, puzzled.

BUFFY
Wild dogs.

RILEY
Two of them.

PROF WALSH
Biggest tings I've ever seen. The first
one, I thought it was... well for a moment,
I thought it was a gorilla. My heart
practically stopped.
(to Buffy)
I know how it sounds. But crazy is my
specialty - and I definitely saw what
I saw.

BUFFY
No. I believe you.

RILEY
Did you have a question, Buffy?

BUFFY
(distracted)
No... Thanks. Just saying howdy.

PROF WALSH
Fine. See you in class.

Maggie and Riley move off, leaving behind a fairly puzzled Buffy.

INT. OZ' ROOM - DAY

Oz, still in his bad sweats and Izod shirt, is rather frantically looking through the paper when a timid knock on the door stops him. Willow pokes her head in. Enters. She's dressed a little more Veruca style. Blacker and sexier.

WILLOW
Hey.

Oz clearly feels a world of emotions at seeing her. The most significant being overwhelming guilt.

OZ
Hey. New look.

WILLOW
(re: his outfit)
You too.

Oz takes a beat to get what she's talking about. Then-

OZ
Oh. Laundry day... kinda came and went.

Willow puts her stuff down. They hug, but it's off... awkward.

WILLOW
Hey. I'm sorry if I was weird yesterday.
With you and Veruca.

OZ
(tighter)
I didn't notice anything.

WILLOW
You didn't? Cause I felt all spazzy.

OZ
No.

Willow tries to take heart at this. She moves closer to him, her tone growing flirtatious.

WILLOW
Oh. Good. Guess I've been worrying
for nothing again. Me and my busy head...
(hinting)
Always thinking, thinking, thinking...

OZ
Now you can stop. Everything's fine.

Willow realizes she's not getting her message across.

WILLOW
Well. Maybe you can... help me stop.

Now Oz gets it. This is not good.

WILLOW (cont'd)
I've got about half an hour...

Willow starts to rub his back sensually. His shirt lifts up and we see - although she does not - the SCRATCH MARKS ON HIS BACK.

WILLOW (cont'd)
And I'd really, really appreciate
anything you can do.

She leans in, kisses him... It causes such a pang of remorse in Oz that he turns his head away. Willow is stricken.

WILLOW (cont'd)
What? What's wrong?

OZ
Sorry, I-

WILLOW
You don't want to?

OZ
It's not that. I do. But...

Willow, hurt, stands.

WILLOW
No. It's fine. I don't have that much
time anyway-

OZ
It's just - I didn't sleep at all I guess.
I'm really beat.

All Willow wants to do is get out of there.

WILLOW
Right. Busy wolf night. Got it.
It's totally okay.

She gathers her stuff, heads for the door.

OZ
Will. You don't have to-

WILLOW
No. I should. I'll see you later.

And she bails, leaving Oz feeling worse than he ever imagined possible.

INT. GILES' APARTMENT - DAY

We find Giles at his desk - but he's moved his TV on top of it. He's got a book open, but it's a sham. He's completely in the grip of a Jeopardy type program and talks at the screen-

GILES
Treaty of Westphalia!

CONTESTANT (V.O.)
Umm, Yalta?

GILES
Moron. That dinette set should be mine.

Fortunately, the doorbell rings - saving him from himself. He snaps the set off and rushes to answer. When he does, he's just a little too thrilled to see Buffy.

GILES (cont'd)
Buffy. Excellent! Come in.

BUFFY
Hi...

GILES
Can I get you anything? Some tea?
I made an interesting mousaka last
night if you're hungry.

BUFFY
Pass on the tea. And the moose. But thanks.

GILES
So. You come on business, I hope?

BUFFY
Yep. Lucky for you, people may be
in danger.

GILES
I didn't... I only meant - I'm at the ready.

Now Buffy eyes the TV on Giles' desk. Goes over and feels that it is warm on top. He avoids her knowing look.

BUFFY
Clearly - we need to get you kicking
some monster bootie, stat. So check it -
one of my professors said she almost got
attacked by two wild "dogs" last night.
Under the light of a nearly full moon.

GILES
Werewolves? Two of them?

BUFFY
Could be.

GILES
I didn't see anything about attacks in
the paper or on the news. Have you
spoken to Oz?

BUFFY
He's my next stop.

GILES
Yes. Get right on that. And I'll see
what I can find out.

Buffy starts to go. Giles calls after her eagerly.

GILES (cont'd)
And you'll report back to me-

BUFFY
(finishing for him)
ASAP. Promise.

INT. XANDER'S BASEMENT - DAY

Xander sits on his futon, going through the help wanted ads. Then WILLOW appears at the bottom of the basement steps.

XANDER
Hey, Will. Mom let you in?

WILLOW
Uh huh... Seemed a little cranky.

XANDER
We're having a little landlord/tenant
dispute, so I'm withholding rent. An
effective - and might I add thrifty - tactic.

WILLOW
How come?

XANDER
She won't let me put a lock on my door.
I suspect she's afraid I'll start having
"the sex."

WILLOW
Yeah. Parents wait until you're out
of the house-

XANDER
Or under it-

WILLOW
Or under it - to start worry about that
stuff. And it's mostly too late...

She smiles a little sadly. It's clear she's on a bummer.

XANDER
So I know why I'm sitting around in a
dank, sunless little room - but why you?

WILLOW
I just... Things with Oz are weird. I
talked with Buffy, but I have a feeling
we're in guy-ville... Like I need a
translator from the Y wide of things.

XANDER
Last time I checked I had the creds.
Hit me.

WILLOW
What does it mean when a girl wants
to... you know...

XANDER
If you're doing it I think you should
be able to say it.

WILLOW
Make love...

XANDER
Wild monkey love or tender Sarah
McLachlan love?

WILLOW
Any kind. But what if the girl wants
to and the guy doesn't? That's a bad
sign, right?

XANDER
Could be. Or the girl caught the guy in
one of the 7 annual minutes when he's
legitimately too preoccupied to do it.

WILLOW
But say, the girl has been noticing-

XANDER
Will? I think I've deciphered your
ingenious code.

WILLOW
Oh. Say I've been noticing Oz notice
somebody else. A woman.

XANDER
And this chick is noticing back?

WILLOW
Most definitely.

XANDER
Well... Have you asked Oz about it?

WILLOW
Thought about it. But then he'll think
I'm all jealous and worried.

XANDER
But you are. And odds are he feels it.
I bet that's all there is to the weird
you're feeling.

Willow takes this in. Sees the wisdom in it.

WILLOW
Okay. Now that you said that - I knew it.
How come I didn't know I knew it
before you said it?

XANDER
Love. It's a logic blocker.
(then)
Talk it out with him, Will. You'll
both feel better.

OFF WILLOW

Vaguely more hopeful.

INT. CRYPT - DAY

Oz is welding a sturdy new HINGE onto his cage door. Now a shadow falls near him. He turns. Buffy's standing over him.

BUFFY
Got out, huh?

OZ
Yeah... Any news about attacks?

BUFFY
No. But I did hear about a person being
chased by two "wild dogs."

OZ
Two? Really?

He looks at her - and she glimpses more fear and worry in his expression than she's ever seen before.

BUFFY
You don't remember anything like that,
do you? Another wolf?

OZ
(shakes his head)
As soon as the change comes - I'm
gone. It's like a total blackout.

BUFFY
Must be spooky.

OZ
It is.

That's the extent of his confession. He turns back to the cage.

OZ (cont'd)
Do me a favor?

BUFFY
Sure.

OZ
Give this thing a go.

Buffy nods. Gives the cage a few good hits and kicks.

BUFFY
Seems good to me...
(then/teasingly)
If I find werewolf #2 on patrol tonight -
you may have a roomie.

Oz can't muster a smile for that one. Manages-

OZ
Thanks.

Buffy starts to leave - but stops before she hits the door.

BUFFY
Oz?
(off his look)
Are you alright? If possible, you seem
even more monosyllabic than usual.

OZ
I'm okay. Thanks.

Buffy nods, leaving Oz with his troublesome thoughts...

MONTAGE:

INT. BRONZE - DAY

Veruca and band are rehearsing. Veruca, full of passion, delivers a song about lost love and desire. This is her siren call...

MUSIC CONTINUES OVER INTERCUTTING OF ABOVE WITH:

INT. OZ' ROOM - DAY

Oz, waiting for sundown, sitting on his bed. Face etched with guilt and worry.

INT. MEETING ROOM - DAY

Willow sitting in her Wicca group. Distracted as the others talk animatedly. She's watching a window as the sun slips out of the sky... Feeling she should be with Oz.

INT. OZ' ROOM - DAY

We move in close on Oz as he seems to make a decision. He picks up the phone. Dials...

INT. CRYPT - DUSK

It is moments before sunset. Oz stands near his cage. Veruca arrives, takes the creepy place in.

VERUCA
So this is why you called me here?
To see your Habittrail?

She wanders, check it out, quietly hyped up.

VERUCA (cont'd)
Right before sunset I just start to feel
buzzed, you know?

OZ
(evenly)
Come here.

VERUCA
I'm not getting in that stupid cage with
you, if that's what this is about. We
belong outside.

OZ
You can't run loose tonight. And not
just because you might hurt someone.
I know people who will be out there -
hunting for us.

VERUCA
Really? You should meet new people.

OZ
I'm serious.

Veruca stops. Sees that he is. Considers...

VERUCA
So you're saying I should spend the
whole night with you. Alone.
Locked in a cage...

OZ
You'll be safe.

VERUCA
(knowingly)
Not from you. Isn't that really the point
of this cozy arrangement?

She's moving toward him now... The sexual tension building between them as the light begins to fade. They don't have much time before they go fully wolfy.

VERUCA (cont'd)
It's coming. Feel it? It's like - blood boiling...

OZ
I feel it.

They meet eyes. Connecting now. Veruca's manner becomes software, almost vulnerable now. She stands at the door, runs her hand along the iron bar, gripping it.

VERUCA
I wanted you even before I saw you.
I sensed you. Did you sense me.

He clearly did. But he tries to push those feelings away.

OZ
Come here.

VERUCA
Did you?

That's it - Oz looses the war with his instincts. In answer, he grabs Veruca and pulls her into the cage -- since she's holding onto the bar of the door it slams shut behind her as he jerks her forward -- and in one motion he kisses her hungrily, voraciously...

CLOSE ON OZ AND VERUCA'S HANDS

Intertwined as they change... Their moans turn into SNARLS...

DISSOLVE TO:

INT. CRYPT - DAWN

Willow arrives with a bag packed with breakfast for the two of them. She looks like she's had an attitude shift. She's ready for a good talk and a new day. A fresh start...

Then she sees the cage. And Oz in Veruca's arms. And their nakedness. Breakfast goes to the ground.

BLACK OUT.

END OF ACT TWO

Act Three

INT. CRYPT - DAY

Back to the terribleness of that last moment. Willow's pinched cry and the sound of her thermos clattering on the cold stone floor wake both Oz and Veruca. Oz is horrified, but Veruca looks as if she's enjoying Willow's realization.

OZ
Willow-

Willow turns her back to them, raises shaking hands to her face.

WILLOW
Oh my God... Oh my God...

Behind her, Oz scrambles to get dressed. Veruca leisurely locates her long coat, which is still intact... Oz does the combo on the lock and exits the cage. Moves to Willow.

OZ
I know what you saw. It was... I had to -
I had to lock her up with me.

Willow looks at him, trembling with shock and upset, scoffs-

WILLOW
I bet.

OZ
She's like me. A wolf.

Now Veruca appears at the door of the cage, buttoning the coat - which is all she has on. Willow, crying now, turns away again - can't look.

WILLOW
(laughs darkly)
Well, I knew you two had a lot in
common, but...

Oz moves to touch her, calm her... But Willow, surprising herself, yells-

WILLOW (cont'd)
Don't touch me!

OZ
She was going to hurt somebody.
I didn't have a choice-

WILLOW
(cutting him off)
But you did! You could have told somebody.
Your "solution" conveniently put you
two alone together all night.

Oz balks - while Veruca smiles at this. Says to Oz-

VERUCA
Girl's got a point.

Oz angrily turns on her.

OZ
Leave.

VERUCA
I was just saying-

OZ
Now!

Veruca clearly bruised by his dismissal. Grabs the last of her things and bolts. There's a beat after she goes. Willow is sobbing. Oz, pained and desperate, can only say-

OZ (cont'd)
I'm sorry.

WILLOW
Why didn't you talk to me? I knew.
I knew, you jerk! And you sat there,
telling me everything was fine?
That's as bad as... As...

She gestures toward the cage. But Oz' expression darkens a bit at her words. He's been on the other side of it.

OZ
I know how it feels. I remember.

WILLOW
Oh, so, what? This is payback? I had
this coming.

OZ
No. That's not-

WILLOW
(cutting him off)
Because I thought that was behind us.
And you know what happened with
Xander - it doesn't compare. Not with
what you and I had - and not with
whatever you've been doing with her.

OZ
I don't know what Veruca and I have
done. When I change - it's like I'm
gone and the wolf takes over.

Willow considers this. Then, afraid, she has to ask -

WILLOW
But before this, when you were just
regular Oz - you had feelings for her,
didn't you?

OZ
I could sense something, yes. But-

She interrupts him, realizing-

WILLOW
But - you wanted her. Like, in an
animal way.
(pained)
Like - more than you wanted me.

He can't deny it. She understands his silence fully before he can think of something that will make it even remotely better. She takes off, devastated.

EXT. STREET OUTSIDE GRAVEYARD - DAY

Willow runs hard - trying to outrun the growing pain in her chest.

EXT. SUNNYDALE STREET - DAY

Now Willow moves down the main street of Sunnydale, unable to stop crying. It's a busy day, people and cars everywhere - but she seems oblivious to it all.

ANOTHER ANGLE

Where we see BUFFY walking on the opposite side of the street. As soon as she catches sight of Willow, she can tell something is terribly wrong.

WILLOW

Unaware of Buffy, moves to cross the street. She steps off the sidewalk - directly into the PATHWAY OF AN ONCOMING CAR.

BUFFY

Starts to run, ,but she's too far away to help.

BUFFY
Willow!

WILLOW

Turns at the sound of Buffy's voice. Doesn't see the car barreling down on her. She's seconds away from being road-kill when WHOOSH! - a pair of strong hands grab her and jerk her back to the safety of the sidewalk. Stunned, she looks up to see RILEY holding her.

RILEY
Willow? Are you okay?

Willow just looks at him. Finally shakes her head - no. Now Buffy runs up beside them. Looks to Riley gratefully.

BUFFY
Thank you. I was too far away-

RILEY
It was lucky. She almost got...

BUFFY
(to Will)
Willow. What's the matter?

Willow is silent. She can't talk or she'll lose it again.

RILEY
Maybe you should get her home.

Buffy nods. Riley looks to Willow kindly.

RILEY (cont'd)
Whatever it is, be more careful - okay?
I promise - it's not worth hurting
yourself over.

Willow barely nods. Then Buffy and Willow move off, Buffy mouthing a silent "thank you" to a concerned Riley.

INT. BUFFY AND WILLOW'S DORM ROOM - DAY

It's later in the day. Buffy has heard the whole horrible tale from Willow and has been ministering to her... Willow sits on her bed, dry-eyed - but pretty shell-shocked.

BUFFY
I have to go. I have to find Veruca
before the sun sets.

Willow nods. Buffy starts to gather her stuff.

BUFFY (cont'd)
(firmly)
I will, though. And when I do this
thing stops. She's bad news.
(then)
Can I get you something before I take
off? Kleenex? Chocolate-y chocolate
anything?

WILLOW
No.

BUFFY
I'll come back as soon as things are
taken care of. You just take it easy, okay?
(then)
Riley was right. The main thing is -
put the blame where it belongs.
Don't hurt yourself.

Willow takes this in. Nods. Buffy starts to go.

BUFFY (cont'd)
Okay.

She stops - nervous mother hen style.

BUFFY (cont'd)
You're okay?

WILLOW
I'm fine. Promise.

And Buffy takes off. After she goes we move in close on Willow and see from her wild eyes that she's not okay in the least. She nods again... Repeats Buffy's words.

WILLOW (cont'd)
Put the blame where it belongs.

She gets up and drags a trunk from next to her bed.

CLOSE ON TRUNK

Willow opens it. Revealing all manner of SPELL MATERIAL.

INT. OZ' ROOM - DAY

Oz is on the phone, finishing a conversation.

OZ
You haven't seen her around?
Okay. Thanks man.

He hangs up, worried. Then a perfunctory knock announces Buffy, who steps into the room. She gets right to it.

BUFFY
Where is she?

OZ
I don't know. I already tried her usual haunts.
(then)
But - I know the areas we're drawn to,
and I'm pretty sure I can follow her scent.

BUFFY
We'll try that, then.

Buffy starts out. But Oz stops her-

OZ
Look. You should just know that-

BUFFY
(cutting him off)
Oz. This might be a good time for
your trademark stoicism.

Oz takes this in. Nods. They move out.

INT. CAMPUS LAB - DAY

Willow has set up in an empty lab. She has a fire going over a burner and all manner of nasty spell stuff laid out before her. She starts mixing ingredients and begins an incantation - its clear intent being to harm Oz and Veruca.

WILLOW
I conjure thee, by Barabbas, by Satanas,
and the Devil… As thou art burning,
let Oz' and Veruca's deceitful hearts
be broken.

With these words the FLAME RISES.

EXT. WOODS - DAY

Oz and Buffy, now armed with a tranquilizer gun, troop through the woods. The light is growing gold and soft as the end of the day nears. Oz stops, breathes in… Then determines a direction.

OZ
This way.

He moves off. Buffy follows.

INT. CAMPUS LAB - DAY

Willow's spell gets more involved… She tosses more ingredients into the growing fire. Willow is really into it, all her rage and pain pouring into the majik.

WILLOW
I conjure thee by the Saracen Queen,
and by the name of hell. Let them
know no love or solace, let them
find no peace as well.

Willow appears infused with energy and a few small objects around her, beakers and test tubes and such, start to FLOAT.

EXT. WOODS - DAY

Oz and Buffy continue their hunt, closing in…

OZ
She's right near here. I can smell her.

Then Buffy, turned away from him, offers-

BUFFY
Or the dirty pile of clothes she left
lying on the ground.

Oz moves to her. Sure enough, they are Veruca's clothes.

OZ
They could be from the other night
when she-

Buffy shoots him a warning look. But he continues.

OZ (cont'd)
-turned into a werewolf.

BUFFY
Unless she wanted to throw you off
the scent.

They think for a moment. Look at each other.

OZ
Willow.

That's it. They take off running back toward campus, each on slightly different paths… Oz leading a bit…

CLOSE ON BUFFY

Putting on the gas. She dodges a big tree and slams into one of the MYSTERIOUS TASER GUYS, who is just as surprised as she is. The impact sends them both sprawling to the ground.

INT. CAMPUS LAB - DAY

Willow nears the end of her spell. The energy building, things still going floaty. She takes a photo of Oz from her pile of ingredients.

WILLOW
Let this image seal his fate, not to
love - but only hate...

But as she moves to add his picture to the fire, she makes the mistake of really looking at it. She stops, stricken. Then tries again to cast it into the flame - but it's too late. She can't go through with it. She starts to cry all over again. The spell is broken... The bad mojo drains from the room and the floaty objects fall to the ground.

Then a sarcastic voice breaks her tearful silence-

VERUCA (O.C.)
Wow. For a minute there I thought
you might actually play rough.

Willow turns to see Veruca in the doorway.

VERUCA
Sometimes you have to, you know,
to keep what's yours.
(darkly)
Sometimes you have to kill.

Now Veruca closes and BLOCKS the door. It's the only way in or out of the room. She looks out the window.

VERUCA (cont'd)
Well what do you know? Sun's
almost down.

OFF WILLOW

Terrified.

BLACK OUT.

END OF ACT THREE
Act Four

EXT. WOODS - DUSK

Buffy, just recovering from her fall, sees the MYSTERY MAN already up and disappearing into the woods. She looks for Oz, but sees that he is gone too. Frustrated, she scrambles to her feet and takes off in the direction Oz went.

INT. CAMPUS LAB - DUSK

Willow and Veruca face off. Willow is shaking with rage and fear, and Veruca is relishing every moment of it.

VERUCA
Can't say I'm surprised you didn't go
through with your little hex. You don't
have the teeth.

WILLOW
You don't know what I have. You don't
know anything about me.

VERUCA
I know what you love. I have his scent
on me right now.

Willow's heard enough. In tears, she tries to dart past Veruca to the door - but Veruca catches her with a vicious back hand. Sends her sprawling. Willow falls hard, dazed.

VERUCA (cont'd)
Go ahead and cry - but you should
have seen this coming. You can't tame
a wild thing. He's not yours any more.
He's in you, he'd be thinking about me -
no. Not thinking. It's deeper than that.
(then)
Why don't you just try to relax now?
In a minute or two it'll all be over-

She'd go on but the door behind her is KICKED OPEN and OZ enters, breathless and enraged. He and Veruca square off.

OZ
Don't touch her again.

VERUCA
Come stop me. I like it rough, remember?

The sun has faded completely from the room now and the change begins (in an acting, non make-up way - we see it register on Oz' face, in his movement...)

OZ
You want to hurt me, hurt me.
But leave her out of this.

VERUCA
How can I? She's the reason you're
living in cages. She's blinding you!
When she's gone, you'll be able to
admit what you are-

CLOSE ON: OZ as Veruca circles behind him. He morphs to first stage and when she comes from behind him (talking all the while) she too is in first stage.

OZ
You don't want to find out what I am.

VERUCA
You're an animal. Animals kill.

Oz looks at Willow and for a moment there is a gleam of hungry pleasure at her fear.

OZ
You're right.
(he turns to Veruca)
We kill.

He LEAPS at Veruca.

And Veruca and Oz fight viciously in their mostly human forms. But before long the full transformation overcomes them both. Willow turns away and shuts her ears against the sounds of Oz and Veruca's bodies as they twist and crack. Meanwhile, Veruca and Oz continue to battle throughout the grotesque metamorphosis.

CLOSE ON WILLOW

As she huddles in a corner. The wolves blocking her exit. This is a bad dream...

ON VERUCA AND OZ

As the battle continues and Oz Wolf gains the advantage. He gets a jaw lock on Veruca's neck and violently BITES HER. She SHRIEKS WITH PAIN, a horrible death knell...

When he is finished, and Veruca's body lies inert, Oz Wolf turns toward Willow. His maw is bloodied and his eyes are the cold eyes of a killer - there is no recognition there.

CLOSE ON WILLOW

Who turns - faces the giant beast crouching low in front of her, baring its razor-like teeth. Nearly out of her mind with grief and terror now, she says in a tiny voice-

WILLOW
Oz?..

She reaches a trembling hand out, as if to stroke him... Without missing a beat - OZ LUNGES toward her, going for the kill. But he is SNATCHED away from Willow only milliseconds before her certain death.

ANOTHER ANGLE

And we see that BUFFY has arrived just in time. The gun is slung on her back - no time to go for it. She has Oz Wolf by the hind legs and drags him away from Willow.

There is a brief fight between slayer and wolf. But Buffy manages to kick him upside the head, dazing him long enough to use the tranquilizer gun and sedate him.

A beat as OZ WOLF stumbles, then passes out. Then Buffy rushes to Willow and gathers her into her arms. They don't speak, just hold onto each other...

DISSOLVE TO:

INT. GILES' APARTMENT - DAY

Buffy and Giles sit at his dining room table, having tea. The mood is subdued.

GILES
I'm not sure I understand.

BUFFY
There was so much going on with Oz
and Will - there still is - but I thought
you should know about this.

GILES
So this fellow in the woods - he was
in military garb?

BUFFY
And he was toting some serious weaponry...
(then)
Thing is, I saw some other guys dressed
exactly like him on Halloween night.
I assumed they were in costume...

GILES
But maybe they were working.

BUFFY
I wanna know what's up. Guy got in
my way; I almost didn't catch up to
Oz in time. As it is, I was too late to...

GILES
You saved Willow.

BUFFY
I think right now she wishes I hadn't...
I've never seen her like this before,
Giles. It's like it hurts too much to
even form words.

GILES
But you've felt that way yourself,
and you got through it.

BUFFY
Well, I ran away and went to hell - and
then I got through it. I'm kind of hoping
Willow won't use me as a model.

GILES
Fair enough.

BUFFY
I just don't know how they're gonna
deal with this.

Giles has no reply. They sit in silence.

DISSOLVE TO:

INT. OZ' ROOM - DAY

The room appears empty except for a duffle bag on the bed. There's a knock on the door and then Willow, looking exhausted and scared, pokes her head in.

WILLOW
Hello?

Oz moves out of his closet, a pile of clothes in his arms. He looks at her evenly - his manner full of pained resolve.

OZ
Hi.

Willow, numb with fear, knows exactly what's happening. But she has to ask. Has to hear him say it.

WILLOW
What are you doing?

OZ
I'm going.

WILLOW
Now?

Oz nods.

WILLOW (cont'd)
That's - that's your solution?

OZ
That's my decision.

WILLOW
Don't I get any say in this?

OZ
No.
(then)
Veruca was right about something.
The wolf is inside me all the time. And
I don't know where the line is anymore -
between me and it. Until I figure out
what that means, I shouldn't be around
you - or anybody.

WILLOW
That could be a problem. 'Cause, people?
Pretty much a planetary epidemic.

Oz stuffs the rest of his things into his duffle bag.

OZ
I'll find someplace.

WILLOW
Well how long -

OZ
I don't know.

He closes his bag and turns to her. A beat as it sinks in. For both of them. This is goodbye. Maybe forever.

WILLOW
(desperate)
Oz... Don't you love me...?

OZ
My whole life, I've never loved
anything else.

She starts to cry. A long beat. It's killing Oz to do this, but it's the only way. Finally, he reaches out to her - tentatively. She doesn't stop him. He kisses her forehead. And then they stay like that, forehead to forehead, for a long time.

WILLOW
Oh God... Oz...

Finally, Oz knows he won't go if he waits another moment. He kisses her again quickly - one last time - then grabs his bag and leaves.

EXT. OZ' HOUSE - DAY

Oz exits his house and gets into his van.

INT. OZ' VAN - DAY

Oz starts the van. Hesitates... Turns the key and stops the van...

INT. OZ' ROOM - DAY

Willow stands crying exactly where he left her.

INT. OZ' VAN - DAY

Oz finds his resolve. He starts the van again.

EXT. OZ' HOUSE - DAY

The van travels down the road, turns - and is gone.

INT. OZ' ROOM - DAY

CLOSE ON WILLOW

Watching her tears stain the carpet... Her heart breaking...

BLACK OUT.

END OF SHOW